Key recruits boost Sharks’ stocks

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Albany's Robert Leegets clear of Royals' Cent Amores.
Camera IconAlbany's Robert Leegets clear of Royals' Cent Amores. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Buoyed by a busy pre-season of recruiting, Albany will take a new level of optimism into their eighth season in the Great Southern Football League competition, according to coach Kim Mayfield.

Previously hampered by an inability to attract quality league players to their club, the Sharks have been the busiest in the off-season, boosting their stocks as they aim for their second win in the competition.

Coming off their most competitive season in 2018, Mayfield said the club’s senior players had driven a productive pre-season which began under new reserves coach Stewart MacTaggart in January.

“Through the experienced players you can definitely feel something in the group, they’re in a happy place,” Mayfield said.

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“In the past our players might not have looked forward to the season starting, but they are certainly looking forward now.”

In his second season as coach, Mayfield stopped short of talking about that long-awaited win but believed the addition of proven goalkickers Taj Williams and Coen Marwick would significantly boost his side.

Williams booted 32 goals before being left out of North Albany’s premiership side last season, while Marwick returns to the GSFL after a season with Katanning Wanderers in the Upper Great Southern Football League.

“Not knowing what other clubs have done, we have been very active and we would like to think we will certainly improve,” Mayfield said. “We are going to be very competitive.

“Coen and Taj will be midfielders for us who can kick goals.”

Mayfield said he was also excited about the return of wingman Robbie Lee from Boxwood Hill in the Ongerup Football Association and Liam Nyhan from Railways, along with newcomer Brock Tiede, who played reserves for Peel Thunder in 2017.

The league’s most experienced coach said it was pleasing to have added depth and talent with a number of younger players coming through the colts system to league ranks.

However, the Sharks will have to cover the loss of stalwart defender Tait McLean, midfielders Zainel Bin Busu and Michael Simpson and reliable defender Jonas Mitchell.

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